Memoir of a Make-Up Artist.
|YEMISI and FOLAYEMI DADA.( C.E.Os of N ‘ SURE BEAUTY.)|
My story is a simple one, I found a passion and made a business out of it , I am not going to give you a tell tale story of how rosy it was climbing to the top of the hill or how I didn’t have shoes to wear as a little kid …..naaaah!!!! I may not have had my dream shoes but I had shoes, I am going to tell you the story of my experiences making it through the ups and downs of becoming a professional Make-Up Artist.
Thankfully I didn’t not have parents that threatened to disown me because they had sent me to school and I decided to become a makeup artist neither did I have a piggy bank stuffed with loads of naira to start my business with but what I did have was PASSION.
For those of us that have been in the trade since like forever and ultimately to those that set the pace for makeup artistry in Nigeria, taking it from the usual all-in-one-cosmetic bucket being hawked by some fearless woman who can hardly make herself up, my solidarity is unwavering, we have really come a long way in making the makeup artistry a proper profession.
The journey is full of good memories and the not so good memories, the not so good memories are a constant reminder of where I am coming from; through the days I got drenched in the rain trying to meet up with an appointment with a bride, the days I had to wake up very very early, the days I travelled under the sunscreen defiling sun, the days I engaged the very mad traffic of Lagos, the days I parked my car or come down from a taxi to board a bike in order to make an appointment.
There were also days that I had to push my tired body even though I had sworn that I was going to have a lazy day only to have an agent call me up that I needed to be on set, I am then saddled with no choice but to set out adopting several kung fu moves in order to get to my destination in one piece and on time.
There are also the terrible moments you want to so spend time with your loved ones but cannot, the getting caught between the complains of a bleached bride and mom about the effect of the makeup on their skin when they were the ones that decided to remove the top layer of their skin – as if it’s my fault , the regular lies of “oh it’s just an introduction get together nothing mega my dear “ only to get there to find out that it is infact a major engagement party , the having to sleep over at a clients house because the Saturday is an environmental sanitation day only to be given a crappy room to sleep in, the “ I won’t settle for nothing but the best brands , if I had known I would have bought the products from the U.S” and yet they offer to pay peanuts for your services ,the celebrities that promise your referrals all because they don’t want to pay ( tongue out to you) are all memories that make me love my professional even more , my life would have been entirely boring without such intrigues.
One of my memorable events was when I was contracted to makeup for a bride, I started early only to end up spending close to four hours on her face and Gele tying.I got to the venue on time despite the fact that I had an exam the next day, we greeted and she told me she hadn’t slept all night and she needed me to cover up the bags she had under her eyes, I was sad almost immediately because that only meant one thing – she was going to be cranky from staying up all night which is a makeup artist’s nightmare.
We finally got started and after about a few minutes panic began, so many issues were begging for her attention despite the fact that she had a capable event planner. Finally she said to me “I will be right back” I had only just matified her face and partly applied foundation; she came back 45 minutes later looking harassed. I had to start all over again, 30 minutes after , she got a call and said yet again “ I will be right back” only to come 45 minutes later yet again, by now I was almost loosing my cool, I was almost as frantic as she was when she got back. I had to act fast or I would end up growing old with this bride, I called the planner, locked the door and gave her the key. I threw my head back, made my face as stern as possible and said firmly” You are not leaving here until I am done”, I was already feeling drained we started at 11.00am and weren’t done till about 2:30pm.
Studio issues are a lot more subtle than on the job intrigues, but there are the instances when we have the studio owner draining his/ her blood to pay bills only to be cornered by the sales representative and makeup assistant. We also have cases where students play smart and run off with your balance after acquiring the skill.
A lot of the MUA are graduates of various disciplines, they are people who have a passion for what they do and are committed to developing themselves and the industry in very many positive ways. Which is why I get discouraged seeing makeup artist in unhealthy competition with themselves , I mean how could you after all we have been through and still go through, we are suppose to exhibit a bond , help each other , grow each other and stand as one family and learn from each other. I always tell MUA you can not be greedy with jobs, you need to learn to delegate to trusted hands as you are just one person and cant be everywhere at the same time.
Our competitors really are (big smile )the salon owners and the business man selling cheap cosmetics and even claiming to know about the application of makeup , now these are the real enemies ,how dare they?, this is our turf and no amateur dare tread carelessly .
So to all the Makeup artists who have been through one ordeal or the other, I duff my hats to you. YOU ARE THE BEST!!!!!!
Till my next post,